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April 24, 2020

Stimulating Reads

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Sometimes you come across a book that really opens you up to new ideas, whilst leaving you questioning those you already had.

Get ready to broaden your mind with these plays guaranteed to get you thinking!

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
(Full Length Play, Drama / 3f, 7m, 1boy(s)
This plat revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family. When her deceased husband’s insurance money comes through, Mama Lena dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighbourhood in Chicago. The Younger family’s heroic struggle to retain dignity in a harsh and changing world is a searing and timeless document of hope and inspiration. (US/UK)

Agnes of God by John Pielmeier
(Full Length Play, Drama / 3f)
Summoned to a convent, Dr. Martha Livingstone, a court-appointed psychiatrist, is charged with assessing the sanity of a novice accused of murdering her newborn. Miriam Ruth, the Mother Superior, determinedly keeps young Agnes from the doctor, further arousing Livingstone’s suspicions. Who killed the infant, and who fathered the tiny victim? (US/UK)

Arcadia by Tom Stoppard
(Full Length Play, Comedy / 4f, 8m)
 moves back and forth between 1809 and the present at the elegant estate owned by the Coverly family. This brilliant play moves smoothly between the centuries and explores the nature of truth and time, the difference between classical and romantic temperaments, and the disruptive influence of sex on our life orbits the attraction Newton left out. (US/UK)

Bobbie Clearly by Alex Lubischer
(Full Length Play, Dark Comedy / 4f, 7m)
Something unspeakable happened in the middle of a cornfield two years ago. Now, at last, the upstanding residents of Milton, Nebraska – from the cop and the nurse to the co-captains of the dance team, and even Bobbie himself – are ready to tell you their sides of the story. This dark comedy follows a sprawling cast of characters as a small town strives to make sense of senseless violence. (US/UK)

Bullet Hole by Gloria Williams
(Full Length Play, Drama / 3f)
Young Londoner Cleo was given her ‘gift’ at age seven – except that ‘gift’ left her with type 3 Female Mutilation. Finding strength after this hideous act, Cleo resolves to go against her family’s wishes and seek reversal surgery. On her journey of healing, she’s sent to live with Aunt Winnie and meets Eve, a fellow FGM survivor who is instantly drawn to her. (UK)

Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties by Jen Silverman
(Full Length Play, Dark Comedy / 5f)
Betty is rich; Betty is lonely; Betty’s busy working on her truck; Betty wants to talk about love, but Betty needs to hit something. And Betty keeps using a small hand mirror to stare into parts of herself she’s never examined. Five different women named Betty collide at an intersection comprising of anger, sex, and the “thea-tah.” (US/UK)

Dance Nation by Clare Barron
(Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 9f, 2m)
Somewhere in America, an army of pre-teen competitive dancers plots to take over the world. And if their new routine is good enough, they’ll claw their way to the top at the Boogie Down Grand Prix in Tampa Bay. A play about ambition, growing up, and how to find our souls in the heat of it all. (US/UK)

Extremities by William Mastrosimone
(Full Length Play, Drama / 3f, 1m)
Marjorie is home alone when Raul enters through her unlocked door and attempts to attack and rape her. The tables turn when Marjorie is able to subdue Raul and keep him tied up in her fireplace. When Terry and Patricia, Marjorie’s roommates, come home, they are shocked and begin discussing how to handle the situation: call the police or take matters into their own hands? (US/UK)

Frontieres San Frontieres by Phillip Howze
(Full Length Play, Drama / 4f, 4m)
Here, at the corner of a country that feels both foreign and familiar, three orphaned, stateless youth have built a simple life out of recreation and mischief-making. Their world is rocked as a parade of immodest strangers slowly invade, offering gifts of language, medicine, art, and commerce. As the lure of development blurs their beliefs, life and landscape mutate, threatening their long-held values, community, and humanity. (US/UK)

Funnyhouse of a Negro by Adrienne Lita Kennedy
(Short Play, Drama / 5f, 3m)
Funnyhouse of a Negro
 is a modern classic about Sarah, a young black student living in New York City and her search for her identity in a very complex, warring, and fractured world. This search is manifested in her many selves: Queen Victoria, the Duchess of Hapsburg, Patrice Lumumba, and Jesus Christ. This landmark play speaks to anyone trying to find a place in the world today. (US/UK)

How Not to Drown by Nicola McCartney and Dritan Kastrati
(Full Length Play, Drama / 1m)
In 2002, in the turmoil after the end of the Kosovan War, Dritan is sent on the notoriously perilous journey across the Adriatic with a gang of people smugglers to a new life in Europe. He relies on his young wit and charm to make it to the UK. But the fight for survival continues a
s he clings to his identity and sense of self when he ends up in the British care system. (UK)

Is God Is by Aleshea Harris
(Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 4f, 4m)
Is God Is
 is a modern myth about twin sisters who sojourn from the Dirty South to the California desert to exact righteous revenge. Winner of the 2016 Relentless Award, Aleshea Harris collides the ancient, the modern, the tragic, the Spaghetti Western, and Afropunk in this darkly funny and unapologetic play. (US/UK)

Killymuck by Kat Woods
(Monologues, Drama / 1f)
is a fictitious housing estate built on a paupers’ graveyard in 1970s Ireland. Inspired by real events, Kat Woods’ play sees Niamh navigate the trials and tribulations of being a kid from the benefit class system. Educational barriers, lack of opportunity and the oppressive structures that are implicit in the cycle of impoverishment, all seem to conspire against the will to abdicate the media constructed underclass stereotype. (UK)

Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison
(Full Length Play, Drama / 2f, 2m)
It’s the age of artificial intelligence, and 85-year-old Marjorie — a jumble of disparate, fading memories — has a handsome new companion who’s programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. What would we remember and what would we forget, if given the chance? In this richly spare, wondrous new play, Jordan Harrison explores the mysteries of human identity and the limits — if any — of what technology can replace. (US/UK)

Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu
(Full Length Play, Drama / 3m)
Moses and Kitch stand around on the corner – talking, passing the time, and hoping that maybe today will be different. As they dream of their promised land, a stranger wanders into their space with his own agenda and derails their plans. Emotional and lyrical, Pass Over crafts everyday profanities into poetic and humorous riffs, exposing the unquestionable human spirit of young men stuck in a cycle just looking for a way out. (US/UK)

Pizza Man by Darlene Craviotto
(Full Length Play, Comedy / 2f, 1m)
Julie Rodgers has had a bad day. Her boss made a pass at her that she rejected, so she got a pink slip with her check. Julie’s broke and disillusioned, so she drinks and turns on the stereo full blast to make the pain go away. When her roommate, Alice, comes home broken-hearted Julie suggests another way to vent their man-caused frustrations: pick a guy and take advantage of him. Enter a pizza delivery man who agrees to come in and share a beer with them. (US/UK)

Plot Points in our Sexual Development by Miranda Rose Hall
(Full Length Play, Drama  /  1f, 1m or f)
Theo and Cecily want to be honest about their sexual histories, but what happens when telling the truth jeopardises everything? A contemporary queer love story, Plot Points in Our Sexual Development explores gender, intimacy, and the dangers of revealing yourself to the person you love. (US/UK)

Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. by Alice Birch
(Full Length Play, Satire/Political Satire)
A wildly experimental and inventive new play that does not behave. Playwright Alice Birch has put together a grouping of vignettes that ask how to revolutionise language, relationships, work, and life in general while bursting at the seams of conformity. (US/UK)

The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll’d by Jonathan Payne
(Full Length Play, Drama / 5f, 4m)
Karma’s foster brother, Terrell, has gone missing, and she’s trying to find him amidst the inner city chaos that is The Oblong – but his teacher can’t remember his name, his foster mum is still cashing his reimbursement checks, and his ex is glad he’s gone. Where’s the police, where are the reporters? Karma seems to be the only one who cares, but the more she looks, the more she realises that in The Oblong, caring only means trouble. (US/UK)

The Alternative by Michael Patrick and Oisín Kearney
(Full Length Play, Drama)
The year is 2019 and it is the eve of the Referendum. British Prime Minister Ursula Lysaght is returning to her hometown of Dublin to convince voters to Remain. With the threat of chaos in the streets, and personal conflict behind the scenes, the final debate is set to begin at BBC Dublin: Should Ireland leave the UK? (UK)

The Flick by Annie Baker
(Full Length Play, Comedy / 1f, 3m)
In a run-down movie theatre in central Massachusetts, three underpaid employees mop the floors and attend to one of the last 35 millimetre film projectors in the state. Their tiny battles and not-so-tiny heartbreaks play out in the empty aisles, becoming more gripping than the lacklustre, second-run movies on screen. (US/UK)

The Nether by Jennifer Haley
(Full Length Play, Drama / 1f, 3m, 1girl(s)
The Nether
 is a virtual wonderland that provides total sensory immersion. Just log in, choose an identity and indulge your every desire. But when a young detective uncovers a disturbing brand of entertainment, she triggers an interrogation into the darkest corners of the imagination. This play is both a serpentine crime drama and haunting sci-fi thriller that explores the consequences of living out our private dreams. (US/UK)

The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe
(Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 10f)
Left quad. Right quad. Lunge. A girls indoor soccer team warms up. From the safety of their suburban stretch circle, the team navigates big questions and wages tiny battles with all the vim and vigour of a pack of adolescent warriors. A portrait of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for nine American girls who just want to score some goals. (US/UK)

White Noise by Suzan-Lori Parks
(Full Length Play, Drama / 2f, 2m)
Long-time friends and lovers Leo, Misha, Ralph, and Dawn are educated, progressive, cosmopolitan, and woke. But when a racially motivated incident with the cops leaves Leo shaken, he decides extreme measures must be taken for self-preservation. A play about race, friendship, and our rapidly unravelling social contract. (US)

Whitewash by Gabriel Bisset-Smith
(Short Play, Drama)
It’s hard parenting a child that everyone thinks you’ve kidnapped. Spanning thirty years, from Jamaica to London, Whitewash is the story of Mary and Lysander, a mixed-race woman and her very white son. Inspired by Gabriel’s own experience, this hilarious and devastating new play is an exploration of the intersection between race and class, identity and belonging. (UK)

To find more interesting plays to add to your bookshelves, head over to our website!

In North America, visit In the UK and Europe, visit

Photo: Plot Points by Miranda Rose Hall (Jeremy Daniel)